Frequent mistakes in Portuguese – Learn Portuguese with podcasts

Frequen mistakes in Portuguese some people do

Frequent mistakes in Portuguese

Hello and welcome to our Portuguese Basic Tips about frequent mistakes in Portuguese

On today’s podcast we are going to speak about frequent mistakes in Portuguese.  Down below, you can see part of its transcript.

First, let me speak a little about such “mistakes”. You following this podcast must have realized that I always end it up by saying that you don’t need to be perfect, because you don’t have this obligation. I mean it! You are not a Brazilian! Even we Brazilians commit mistakes in Portuguese. The Portuguese people themselves do.

I can also fail in English occasionally, but you know I’m trying to do my best. That’s why this website keeps growing every day. So don’t worry about “errors”.

Number 1 A gente X Agente

As you may know, in Brazilian Portuguese, we often use the term “a gente” instead of using “nós”, both of them meaning “we”.

It turns out that when some people are writing, they tend to put that with just one word “agente”. Be careful not to do that too! When this term is written with just one word, you are referring to an “agent”. If you want to say “we” in Portuguese, you should write it with two separate words “a” and “gente”.

Number 2 – Mais X Mas

We have these two words in Portuguese language, but we use them in different situations.

You can use “mas” meaning “but”, “however” and so forth.

On the other hand, you use “mais” to indicate addition to something. It means something as “plus”. For example, “google mais”.

In spoken language, you’ll barely note the differences between them, but you will easily understand the sentence’s context.

Number 3 – Concerteza

Com certeza is written with two Portuguese words meaning “for sure” or “certainly”. It literally means “with assurance”. However, many people keep writing it with just one word.

Try not to do the same! The correct way to say that is “com certeza”.

Number 4 – Menos x Menas (less in Portuguese)

This is a common confusion that happens in Portuguese. You, who are listening to this podcast, please scratch the word “menas” of your brain! It doesn’t exist. I’ll tell you why.

Listen to this phrase:

  • Por favor, beba menos água.
  • Please, drink less water.

That would be the correct way of speaking that sentence. However, “água” (water) is a feminine noun in Portuguese. Because of that, people tend to agree the adverb “menos” with the feminine noun “água”. That’s why they say “menas água”, for instance. Oh boy! Adverbs in Portuguese shouldn’t be modified. Even if you are speaking about a girl or any other feminine noun, don’t change the adverb.

Number 5 – Meio x Meia

And, guess what? The same goes to those ones, if you are using the word “meio” as an adverb in Portuguese.

Pay attention to this sentence:

  •  Estou meio cansada.
  • I’m a little bit tired.

You shouldn’t say “estou meia cansada”, even if you’re referring to a feminine noun.

– Marcos, but in Brazil, when people are referring to hours, they say “nove e meia”, instead of saying “nine-thirty”.

– Good placement, Daniel! You have a point. We really do that. But note that in this case, it is not an adverb we are using anymore. It’s a numeral.

In fact we use the word “meia” when referring to a numeral or when referring to a noun. Yeah! “Meia” can also mean “sock” in Portuguese.

Number 6 – Embaixo X Em baixo

The two ways of writing them exist, but they are used with different meanings.

Embaixo, when you write it all together, can mean “below”, “under”, “underneath”.

For example:

  • O cachorro está embaixo da mesa
  • The dog is under the table.

Em baixo, written separately, is used as oppose to “high”.

For example:

  • Ele joga em alto nível.
  • He plays in a high level.
  • Ele joga em baixo nível.
  • He plays in a low level.

Exceptionally , we put part of this podcast’s transcript on this page , but I suggest  you become a Premium Member of this website to access the full transcripts of the episodes , including the ones of Todo Mundo Pod (our podcast in Portuguese).

Click on the link (only in Portuguese) to see Os 50 erros de português mais comuns no mundo do trabalho

If you have not heard our last episode, click on the link to listen to Ir conjugation and Vir conjugation in Portuguese

See you next time.


Marcos Sales

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